Path­way out of life on streets

Guardian Express - - NEWS -

MANNY Salmon had a hair­cut, went to the den­tist and had his dog mi­crochipped in a sin­gle day.

He was among about 2000 peo­ple at the an­nual Home­less Con­nect Perth held in Rus­sell Square, North­bridge that pro­vides es­sen­tial health ser­vices, food and gen­eral sup­port for home­less peo­ple.

Re­tired hair­dresser Stephanie Doust picked up the scis­sors again to vol­un­teer for the Novem­ber 14 event.

It was the BHP lab tech­ni­cian’s first Home­less Con­nect.

“I like to see ev­ery­one’s smiles when I’ve fin­ished their hair­cut,” she said.

Ms Doust is one of about 450 vol­un­teers who help be­fore, dur­ing and af­ter the an­nual event co-or­di­nated by Vol­un­teer­ing WA and the City of Perth.

Jackie Isaccs and Loretta Wat­son are mem­bers of the Women’s International Net­work Group, aka WING, that helped serve a twocourse lunch to guests.

Guests had ac­cess to sup­port such as birth cer­tifi­cate ser­vices, op­tometrists, and food and cloth­ing shops.

Vol­un­teer­ing WA chief ex­ec­u­tive Tina Wil­liams said sim­ple things like getting a birth cer­tifi­cate could help the guests ac­cess many other ser­vices.

“The idea is they find a per­ma­nent path­way out of home­less­ness from the ser­vices on the day,” Ms Wil­liams said.

She said as well as con­nect­ing guests to ser­vices, Home­less Con­nect in­tro­duced ser­vices to one an­other for re­fer­rals.

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